Bee keeping being one of the major activities that can boost alternative incomes for a forest dependent people like those here in the Kom-Wum forest, there is great need for the people to be given hands on training. During the year 2018, SURUDEV undertook apiculture trainings for forest dependent peoples of Mbongkissu, Mbengkas, Muwom, Baiso and other surrounding villages bordering the forest in Mentang. These trainings brought together both male and female participants from the afore mentioned communities to gain hands on training on bee hive production, installation, bee farm managment, honey harvesting, processing and packaging amongst others. Thanks to our partners notably the Global Green Grants and the French IUCN-PPI initiative, this training was a success says SURUDEV’s Executive Director. Although associated with a lot of challenges, the project was a success.
The following activities were successfully carried out: This preparatory/community awareness phase had the longest duration as it started in the month of April. However, during the last two weeks of project proper, sensitization was emphasized as the Local focal point got to the population through phone calls, messages and door to door visits to most of the persons without communication means. The participants were informed and made aware of the training that schedules and the materials to be used during the training along notably local materials for bee hive construction. To ensure the right choices of beneficiaries based on need and passion, some measures were taken including oral questioning on interested choice of form of agriculture, and working with the local focal person and two local bee farming experts (who were also resource persons).
It is important to note that before this training, SURUDEV organized a pre-meeting with the local focal points/resource persons (the coordinator and the two main resource persons; one expert in honey collection and processing, and another in hive production and installation). This preparatory meeting was aimed at evaluating the content of the trainers and fit in within the training modules, further build capacity based on best practices from Oku, while stating the expectations to be attained upon completion of the training.
Some of these expectations from the trainers included:
Despite the growing tensions that plagued the area during the training period, the training went on successfully as planned but for the fact that most of the participants didn’t bring local production materials for the bee hive manufacture. This of course had a negative impact as more than three participants had to be grouped on a single hive. To resolve this problem, participants were tasked with gaining on-site basic skills, go back home upon completion of training and try producing. The trainers were charged with going around for supervision on particular days. An end of training evaluation revealed that 63% of the trainees could successfully produce and install bee hives, while the rest were encouraged to continue at home under close supervision.
Upon completion of the training, participants showed satisfaction but however requested for a few other sorts of assistance: